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Yet Again! Meta Faces New Lawsuit Over Tracking Allegations

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read

Facebook parent company Meta has been sued for allegedly tracking the data of iPhone users using a browser. 

The lawsuit against Meta was filed in a US federal district court in San Francisco. Newsvot gathered in the lawsuit filing (PDF) that Meta allegedly used a web browser known as WKWebView to gather and track the data of iPhone users. 

The two Meta apps involved in this latest court case are Facebook and Instagram apps. 

This lawsuit is based on Felix Krause's analysis of how Meta can use WKWebView browsers to track and abuse the personal information of iPhone users. 

The complaint says, "When users click on a link within the Facebook app, Meta automatically directs them to the in-app browser it is monitoring instead of the smartphone’s default browser, without telling users that this is happening or they are being tracked" 

The complaint further went on to say that the user data collected by Meta can include confidential reports. 

"The user information Meta intercepts, monitors, and records includes personally identifiable information, private health details, text entries, and other sensitive, confidential facts," the complaint said. 

Last month, a Meta spokesperson said that Felix Krause's analysis was wrong. Meta communications director Andy Stone further challenged Felix Krause's findings saying that the code injection was done to respect its users' privacy choices. 

" These claims misrepresent how Meta’s in-app browser and Pixel work. We intentionally developed this code to honor people’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) choices on our platforms. We have communicated this to the researcher." 

"We do not add pixels to websites. The code in question allows us to respect people's privacy choices by helping aggregate events (such as making a purchase online) from pixels already on websites, before those events are used for advertising or measurement purposes," Andy Stone said. 

Apparently, the complaint is seeking a class action certification against Facebook parent company Meta. According to the complaints, Meta has violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act and the federal wiretapping statute. 

"Meta’s injection of JavaScript coincides with recent privacy updates for iPhones and other iOS devices," the complaint further alleged. 

Further Allegations Against Meta 

The complaint suing Meta went on to allege that Meta doesn't disclose the dangers of using and moving from Facebook's in-app browser to third-party sites. 

" Meta fails to disclose the consequences of browsing, navigating, and communicating with third-party websites from within Facebook’s in-app browser – namely, that doing so overrides their default browser’s privacy settings, which users rely on to block and prevent tracking," said the complaint. 

They further said," Similarly, Meta conceals that it injects JavaScript that alters external third-party websites so that it can intercept, track, and record data that it otherwise could not access."

Reacting to all the lawsuits received from this complaint, Meta's spokesperson said the allegations are without merit. 

"These allegations are without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously," the company spokesperson said. 

It should be recalled that 46 States in the US as been asking a US court for the reinstatement of the Meta antitrust lawsuit. 

The lawsuit, originally filed against Facebook in 2020, will add to the latest lawsuit faced by Meta.